Two deputy Chairpersons and other officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) were kicked out from a meeting of Parliament’s Special Budget Committee considering the 2022 budget estimates of the Commission.
Dr Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey and their colleagues failed to justify the absence of the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa.
According to members of the Committee, there are critical constitutional matters, including the creation of a constituency for residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lipke and Lolobi (SALL), which the Chairperson must answer.
A member of the Committee, Ahmed Ibrahim, further explained that Mrs Mensa has for some time now failed to avail herself before the Committee, a practice he believes should not be allowed to continue.
Speaking to JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson, the First Deputy Minority Whip observed that until the physical appearance of Jean Mensa before the Committee, they will not consider the budget estimates for the Commission.
“Because this is the only Committee that oversight all the constitutional bodies. All the other constitutional bodies have been here by their chairpersons and chief executive officers. So it will not be fair to them.
He added that the last time Jean Mensa had failed to be present at the Mid-Year budget performance review.
“And this is not the first time you know when we went to rock city to do the mid-year budget performance review, she could not come; her deputies arrived. We listened to them.
“So we were with the view that when we come for the budget hearing, she will come. So it was unfortunate that she was not here. But there are serious constitutional issues that would be raised in the budget hearing,” he said.
Speaking on the non-representation of the SALL people, he explained that “We cannot claim to be representing the people of Ghana when some of them have no representation. And if you keep quiet on this, then who else will speak for them.”
He said that is why the EC Chair must come before the Committee and share her plans towards creating a new constituency for the SALL people and ensuring that they get representation, probably even before the 2024 General Elections.
“We need to know her policies, juxtapose them with the estimates and the figures, then assess her performance in the previous budget before we can approve the 2022 one,” he said.